The Building Industry Is Working to Reduce Long-term Costs and Limit Disruptions of Extreme Events

“Resilience is the ability to prepare for and adapt to changing conditions and to withstand and recover rapidly from deliberate attacks, accidents, or naturally occurring threats or incidents.” —White House Presidential Policy Directive on Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience

In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall in the Gulf Coast as a category 3 storm. Insured losses topped $41 billion, the costliest U.S. catastrophe in the history of the industry. Studies following the storm indicated that lax enforcement of building codes had significantly increased the number and severity of claims and structural losses. Researchers at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, found that if stronger building codes had been in place, wind damages from Hurricane Katrina would have been reduced by a staggering 80 percent. With one storm, resiliency went from a post-event adjective to a global movement calling for better preparation, response and recovery—not if but when the next major disaster strikes.

CHALLENGES OF AN AGING INFRASTRUCTURE

We can all agree that the U.S. building stock and infrastructure are old and woefully unprepared for climatic events, which will occur in the years ahead. Moving forward, engineering has to be more focused on risk management; historical weather patterns don’t matter because the past is no longer a reliable map for future building-code requirements. On community-wide and building-specific levels, conscientious groups are creating plans to deal with robust weather, climatic events and national security threats through changing codes and standards to improve their capacity to withstand, absorb and recover from stress.

Improvements to infrastructure resiliency, whether they are called risk-management strategies, extreme-weather preparedness or climate-change adaptation, can help a region bounce back quickly from the next storm at considerably less cost. Two years ago, leading groups in America’s design and construction industry issued an Industry Statement on Resiliency, which stated: “We recognize that natural and manmade hazards pose an increasing threat to the safety of the public and the vitality of our nation. Aging infrastructure and disasters result in unacceptable losses of life and property, straining our nation’s ability to respond in a timely and efficient manner. We further recognize that contemporary planning, building materials, and design, construction and operational techniques can make our communities more resilient to these threats.”

With these principles in mind, there has been a coordinated effort to revolutionize building standards to respond to higher demands.

STRENGTHENING BUILDING STANDARDS

Resiliency begins with ensuring that buildings are constructed and renovated in accordance with modern building codes and designed to evolve with change in the built and natural environment. In addition to protecting the lives of occupants, buildings that are designed for resilience can rapidly re-cover from a disruptive event, allowing continuity of operations that can liter- ally save lives.

Disasters are expensive to respond to, but much of the destruction can be prevented with cost-effective mitigation features and advanced planning. A 2005 study funded by the Washington, D.C.-based Federal Emergency Management Agency and conducted by the Washington-based National Institute of Building Sciences’ Multi-hazard Mitigation Council found that every dollar spent on mitigation would save $4 in losses. Improved building-code requirements during the past decade have been the single, unifying force in driving high-performing and more resilient building envelopes, especially in states that have taken the initiative to extend these requirements to existing buildings.

MITIGATION IS COST-EFFECTIVE IN THE LONG TERM

In California, there is an oft-repeated saying that “earthquakes don’t kill people, buildings do.” Second only to Alaska in frequency of earthquakes and with a much higher population density, California has made seismic-code upgrades a priority, even in the face of financial constraints. Last year, Los Angeles passed an ambitious bill requiring 15,000 buildings and homes to be retrofitted to meet modern codes. Without the changes, a major earth- quake could seriously damage the city’s economic viability: Large swaths of housing could be destroyed, commercial areas could become uninhabitable and the city would face an uphill battle to regain its economic footing. As L.A. City Councilman Gil Cedillo said, “Why are we waiting for an earthquake and then committed to spending billions of dollars, when we can spend millions of dollars before the earthquake, avoid the trauma, avoid the loss of afford- able housing and do so in a preemptive manner that costs us less?”

This preemptive strategy has been adopted in response to other threats, as well. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Princeton University, Princeton, N.J., emerged as a national example of electrical resilience with its microgrid, an efficient on-campus power-generation and -delivery network that draws electricity from a gas-turbine generator and solar-panel field. When the New Jersey utility grid went down in the storm, police, firefighters, paramedics and other emergency-services workers used Princeton University as a staging ground and charging station for phones and equipment. It also served as a haven for local residents whose homes lost power. Even absent a major storm, the system provides cost efficiency, reduced environmental impact and the opportunity to use renewable energy, making the initial investment a smart one.

ROOFING STANDARDS ADAPT TO MEET DEMANDS

Many of today’s sustainable roofing standards were developed in response to severe weather events. Wind-design standards across the U.S. were bolstered after Hurricane Andrew in 1992 with minimum design wind speeds rising by 30-plus mph. Coastal jurisdictions, such as Miami-Dade County, went even further with the development of wind- borne debris standards and enhanced uplift design testing. Severe heat waves and brown-outs, such as the Chicago Heat Wave of 1995, prompted that city to require cool roofs on the city’s buildings.

Hurricane Sandy fostered innovation by demonstrating that when buildings are isolated from the supply of fresh water and electricity, roofs could serve an important role in keeping building occupants safe and secure. Locating power and water sources on rooftops would have maintained emergency lighting and water supplies when storm surges threatened systems located in basement utility areas. Thermally efficient roofs could have helped keep buildings more habitable until heating and cooling plants were put back into service.

In response to these changes, there are many opportunities for industry growth and adaptation. Roof designs must continue to evolve to accommodate the increasing presence of solar panels, small wind turbines and electrical equipment moved from basements, in addition to increasing snow and water loads on top of buildings. Potential energy disruptions demand greater insulation and window performance to create a habitable interior environment in the critical early hours and days after a climate event. Roofing product manufacturers will work more closely with the contractor community to ensure that roofing installation practices maximize product performance and that products are tested appropriately for in-situ behavior.

AVERTING FUTURE DISASTERS THROUGH PROACTIVE DESIGN

Rather than trying to do the minimum possible to meet requirements, building practitioners are “thinking beyond the code” to design structures built not just to withstand but to thrive in extreme circumstances. The Tampa, Fla.-based Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety has developed an enhanced set of engineering and building standards called FORTIFIED Home, which are designed to help strengthen new and existing homes through system-specific building upgrades to reduce damage from specific natural hazards. Research on roofing materials is ongoing to find systems rigorous enough to withstand hail, UV radiation, temperature fluctuations and wind uplift. New techniques to improve roof installation quality and performance will require more training for roofing contractors and more engagement by manufacturers on the installation of their products to optimize value.

Confronted with growing exposure to disruptive events, the building industry is working cooperatively to meet the challenge of designing solutions that provide superior performance in changing circumstances to reduce long-term costs and limit disruptions. Achieving such integration requires active collaboration among building team members to improve the design process and incorporate new materials and technologies, resulting in high-performing structures that are durable, cost- and resource-efficient, and resilient so when the next disruptive event hits, our buildings and occupants will be ready.

White Coating Improves Energy Efficiency

The Kemperol Reflect 2K FR from Kemper System is a cold, liquid-applied reinforced cool roofing system that can improve building energy efficiency.

The Kemperol Reflect 2K FR from Kemper System is a cold, liquid-applied reinforced cool roofing system that can improve building energy efficiency.


The Kemperol Reflect 2K FR from Kemper System is a cold, liquid-applied reinforced cool roofing system that can improve building energy efficiency. The white surface helps reflect sunlight and reduce the impact of infrared rays that can tax building cooling systems. The easy-to-apply, fully reinforced membrane is applied the same way as Kemper System’s Kemperol 2K-PUR solvent- and odor-free system, but the new liquid waterproofing pours out white and dries to a bright white. Because no topcoat is necessary, labor costs and installation times are reduced. The system consists of 70 percent rapidly renewable resources, is fire-rated for Class-A assemblies, and is odor-free and low-VOC.

ARMA, ERA and PIMA Research Advanced Roof Systems in Northern Climates

A coalition of trade groups is funding a research project about advanced roofing systems that were installed on an upstate New York correctional facility to evaluate the benefits of thermal insulation and cool roofing in Northern climates.

The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA), Washington, D.C.; EPDM Roofing Association (ERA), Washington; and the Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association (PIMA), Bethesda, Md., are sponsoring continued analysis of a reroofing project at the Onondaga County Correctional Facility, Jamesville, N.Y. The Onondaga County Department of Facilities Management identified a need to study building energy use and stormwater runoff from roof systems. Temperature and rain data from the project, which includes vegetative roofing, increased insulation levels and “cool” roofs, will provide information about building performance and roof covering selection.

“ARMA members promote a balanced approach to roofing performance, especially when it comes to saving building energy,” says Reed Hitchcock, ARMA’s executive vice president. “Using a whole-building approach, where roofing reflectivity, insulation levels and other design elements are considered in the decision-making process, will help ensure the right system is selected; this project can only help with that decision.”

When the correctional facility was due for a major reroofing project in 2009, Onondaga County saw a unique opportunity to evaluate the water-retention and energy-efficiency performance for a variety of different roof covering assemblies. The project also offered valuable information that could be used to identify the best options for future reroof projects across the county’s entire building inventory.

The county worked with Ashley-McGraw Architects, Syracuse, N.Y., and CDH Energy, Cazenovia, N.Y., to design and install a field monitoring system to collect data on thermal performance, weather conditions and roof runoff from four buildings at the Jamesville facility. CDH Energy released a report in October 2011 that made recommendations on roof covering selection.

Hugh Henderson, P.E., CDH Energy, remarked the original report laid the groundwork for future roofing projects in Onondaga County. “The use of vegetative roof systems as a stormwater control mechanism was the most important takeaway from the first years of the project,” he explains. “Continuing the project will provide a better evaluation of cool roof and insulation products as part of roof designs in colder climates.”

With the instrumentation still in place, it was a simple decision to continue evaluating the roof coverings over a longer time period to better see how roof coverings interact with weather conditions. Of particular interest is the effect of accumulated snow on roofs that may affect the buildings’ thermal performance.

“Roof insulation is an integral part of the design strategy for a building’s energy-efficiency footprint, and this study will help building owners, contractors and architects assess a roof’s performance from a broader basis and ensure the best energy efficient components are used,” adds Jared Blum, PIMA president.

The Onondaga County reroofing project includes an analysis of the comparison of cool roof technologies, consisting of reflective roof surfaces and high-performing well-insulated roof covering assemblies. “Our members produce reflective and absorptive roof coverings; this study will provide meaningful data that can help designers select the right products for their particular project, regardless of where in the country the roof will be installed,” notes Ellen Thorp, ERA’s associate executive director.

The project is expected to run through 2015.

National Coatings Adds American Roofing Sales to Gulf States Regional Team

National Coatings Corp. (NCC), a manufacturer and supplier of durable, energy efficient, cool roof coatings, is pleased to announce the addition of American Roofing Sales Inc. (ARS) of Marietta, Ga., to National Coatings’ Gulf States Regional Team.

ARS will concentrate their efforts towards Architects and Roofing Contractors by providing dedicated client support and cultivating relationships with new and existing clients in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and the Western portion of the Florida Panhandle.

ARS comes to National Coatings with exceptional experience and knowledge in both sales and high-end commercial roofing products. Doug King, President at ARS, has over 38 years of roofing sales experience and has been working in the roofing community in the South since the inception of his firm in 1988. The ARS team is comprised of Doug King, as well as, Taylor King, Kirk Swor, and Brian Dickerson.

“We are excited to have Doug and his team represent us in the Gulf States market.” said Collin Qualls, CSI, National Coatings’ District Sales Manager – Gulf States. “They offer us a concerted effort in the expansion of the region and more importantly, the benefit of coupling the respect and reputation that both National Coatings and American Roofing Sales have earned over the years by providing their respective client’s only the highest of quality.”

Energy-efficient Cool-roof Legislation: Creating Jobs and Reducing Energy Costs

Building on two roofing trends—higher thermal performance and cooler roofs in hotter climates—that have policymakers and architects seeing eye to eye, energy-efficient cool-roof legislation offers a significant opportunity to increase building energy efficiency and create jobs. Known in the last Congress in the Senate as S. 1575, the Energy-Efficient Cool Roof Jobs Act, and in the House of Representatives as H.R. 2962, the Roofing Efficiency Jobs Act, the legislation is scheduled to be reintroduced this spring.

The intent of the legislation is to encourage improvement in the thermal performance of existing roofs and, where appropriate in the designer’s judgment, encourage the use of a white or reflective roof surface in hotter climates. This is a clear win-win for the environment and building owners in terms of reduced energy costs and reduced pollution associated with energy consumption.

energy efficiency

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SIGNIFICANT SAVINGS lie within the commercial roofing sector, where more than 50 billion square feet of flat roofs are currently available for retrofit, 4 billion of which are typically retrofitted each year. The legislation would provide a 20-year depreciation period (instead of the current 39 years) for commercial roofs that meet minimum R-values that are significantly higher (requiring more insulation) than those required under state and local building codes and that have a white or other highly reflective surface. This change would correct an inequity in the current depreciation system (the average life span of a low-slope roof is only 17 years). By providing this incentive, the federal government would allow building owners and architects to decide whether the combination of thermal insulation and reflective roofs are appropriate for a given climate.

The required R-values under the proposed legislation are identical to the prescriptive requirements found under ASHRAE 189.1-2011, “Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings”. This legislation would be limited to retrofits of existing low-slope roofs and would not be available to new buildings. The cool roof requirement would only apply to buildings in ASHRAE Climate Zones 1 through 5, which covers approximately the area of the country from Chicago and Boston south. Roofs may qualify for the depreciation in zones 6, 7 and 8 but would not need a cool surface. View a map of the ASHRAE Climate Zones.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Annual Energy Review, 2011, buildings account for 19 percent of the nation’s total energy usage and 34 percent of its electricity usage. Policies directed at commercial buildings are important to improving the economy, reducing pollution and strengthening energy efficiency. Although the country has over time maintained a steady pace in improving energy efficiency, a huge potential still exists, especially for commercial buildings. A wide range of credible estimates are available that point to this potential for cost-effective energy-efficiency improvements (see the graph).

THIS PROPOSED legislation complements the approaches taken in more comprehensive energy-efficiency proposals by focusing on the roof, which is the only building-envelope component that is regularly replaced but rarely upgraded to address energy and other environmental impacts.

Most buildings were constructed before building energy codes were first developed in the mid-1970s, or buildings were constructed under relatively weak codes, so these older, under-insulated roofs offer an important opportunity for increased energy savings. During the next 17 to 20 years, most of the weatherproof membranes on all commercial roofs will be replaced or recovered, which is the most cost-effective time to add needed insulation.

By accelerating demand for energy-efficient commercial roofs, the proposed legislation would:

    ▪▪ Create nearly 40,000 new jobs among roofing contractors and manufacturers.
    ▪▪ Add $1 billion in taxable annual revenue to the construction sector.
    ▪▪ Save $86 million in energy costs in the first year.
    ▪▪ Eliminate and offset carbon emissions by 1.2 million metric tons (equal to emissions of 229,000 cars).

THE LEGISLATION has the support of the Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association; National Roofing Contractors Association; Alliance to Save Energy; American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy; Associated Buildings & Contractors Inc.; Building Owners and Managers Association International; United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers; and several more construction industry associations.

When Sens. Cardin and Crapo reintroduce the Energy-Efficient Cool Roof Jobs Act, they hope it will influence the future debate about tax and energy policy. Although consideration of tax reform has stalled for the moment, when Congress returns to this issue it will be a golden opportunity to consider ideas for reforming cost-recovery periods and removing the disincentives that overly long depreciation schedules currently place on building energy-efficiency improvements.

Tile Roofing’s Cool Colors Meet California’s Title 24

Boral Roofing LLC is launching more than 30 new cool colors in California

Boral Roofing LLC is launching more than 30 new cool colors in California.

Boral Roofing LLC, a provider of clay and concrete roof tile, is launching more than 30 new cool colors in California, ideal for new construction and reroof applications. Boral Roofing is partnering with leading designers and colorists to introduce trending exterior color palettes.

Boral Roofing’s cool color range is available at no added cost to the consumer. Consumers can choose from a range of colors at a standard price. Boral Roofing leads the nation with the largest Cool Roof Rating Council tile listing and offers choice ENERGY STAR-rated colors.

With the inherent beauty and energy benefits of concrete tile, cool roof colors do not have to be white. Boral Roofing offers a vibrant selection of earth tones, terra cottas and cool greys that meet or exceed cool roof standards. These beautiful cool colors are available in a wide range of styles and textures to fit any architectural design.

Boral Roofing has been continually expanding cool roof colors to fit new trends. Cool roofing is paramount in states such as California pursuing a net zero energy building code by 2020. California Title 24 building codes are requiring increased cool roof performance in select regions that take effect on July 1, 2014.

The California Title 24 Building Energy Efficiency Standards were established to reduce California’s energy consumption. Cool roofs are highly reflective, highly emissive roofing materials that stay cooler than a normal roof under a hot summer sun, offering homeowners considerable energy cost savings.

New Cool Roof Colors in Concrete Roof Tile Product Line

The Madera 900 Tahoe Blend, which is included in the Boral Concrete Roof Tile product line

The Madera 900 Tahoe Blend, which is included in the Boral Concrete Roof Tile product line

Boral Roofing unveiled its latest offerings in its Cool Roof portfolio during the recent International Builders’ Show (IBS) in Las Vegas.

The two Cool Roof colors making their debut at IBS 2014 are the Saxony 900 Slate Charcoal Blend and the Madera 900 Tahoe Blend, both of which are included in the Boral Concrete Roof Tile product line. These new colors have been designed to accommodate the updated California Code of Regulations, Title 24, Part 6. A major revision of the energy code involves new prescriptive Cool Roof requirements in select climate zones for low-rise residential steep-slope roofs. The change has resulted in a sizable increase in the aged Solar Reflective Index (SRI) for all roofing materials: from 10 to 16 or greater.

The new additions to Boral Roofing’s color portfolio ensure that Cool Roof requirements are met without sacrificing beauty or performance. The Saxony 900 Slate Charcoal Blend, which comes from Boral Roofing’s manufacturing plant in Rialto, Calif., perfectly complements the inherent beauty in French and Tudor architectural styles. Saxony Slate emulates the distinctive appearance of natural slate, while delivering the advantages of concrete tile. The Madera 900 Tahoe Blend, which is manufactured in Boral Roofing’s plant in Gilroy, Calif., offers an authentic replication of a hand-split cedar shake roof that is flexible enough to complement any architectural style. The award-winning Madera 900 is the most affordable, authentic hand-split wood shake replacement product available with all the benefits of concrete tile.

Boral Roofing’s latest Cool Roof technology is also being showcased via a rooftop display that demonstrates the real-time thermal performance of Boral Tile compared to other roofing materials. According to Oak Ridge National Laboratory, an independent testing agency, a family in a typical single-family house could save up to 22 percent per year on heating and cooling costs compared to the standard asphalt shingle roof.* A single family house with a Boral Cool Roof System could save an average of $15 to $20 per month immediately compared to a standard asphalt shingle roof, and, as energy rates rise year over year, savings could increase up to $20,000 over 30 years.**

Boral Roofing is the first clay roof tile manufacturer in the world to receive the prestigious Cradle-to-Cradle Gold Certification for environmentally sustainable products. Boral Clay Roof Tiles have a recycled content of up to 59 percent and come in an array of rich, kiln-fired hues with unrivaled color retention. Boral Concrete Roof Tiles contain no chemical preservatives and are up to 100 percent recyclable.

*Steep-slope Assembly Testing of Clay and Concrete Tile with and without Cool Pigmented Colors, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 2005. Results vary based on profile of tile installed, location, weather and other factors.

**Results based on a 22 square roof in Southern California with no additional energy efficient upgrades during an average annual weather pattern, annual inflation rate of 3 percent, and annual energy cost increase of 3.5 percent. Savings may vary based on location, weather and other factors. Savings estimates are based on comparison to a similar size asphalt shingle roof.

RCMA Announces Presentations During the International Roof Coatings Conference

The Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association (RCMA), in partnership with nine industry organizations, will host the International Roof Coatings Conference (IRCC) July 14-17, 2014, in Baltimore at the Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Hotel. In January, key leaders in the roof coatings industry who make up the IRCC Abstract Review Committee met to select the impressive lineup for this year’s IRCC presentations. The 2014 IRCC will include the following timely topics:

Dr. Karma Sawyer, United States Department of Energy
“The Building Envelope Emerging Technologies Portfolio in DOE’s Building Technologies Office”

Alice Kennedy, Baltimore Office of Sustainability
“Advancing Installation of Reflective Roofing Systems through Community-Based Social Marketing and the Baltimore Energy Challenge”

Dr. James L. Hoff, Center for Environmental Innovation in Roofing
“Introducing the RoofPoint Energy and Carbon Calculator: Measuring the Energy and Environmental Contributions of Roofing Systems”

Jeffrey Steuben, Cool Roof Rating Council
“When the Going Gets Rough: The Impact of Substrate Texture on Solar Reflectance Ratings”

Dr. Hashem Akbari, Concordia University
“Advances in Developing Standards for Accelerated Aging of Cool Roofing Materials”

Michael D. Fischer, Kellen Company
“Energy Efficiency and Sustainability in Codes and Standards: Impact on the Roof Coatings Industry”

Dr. Justin Jitao Chen, Dr. Steven Jiguang Zhang, Dr. Joseph Rokowski and Loganathan Ravisanker, Dow Chemical Company
“Novel PUA Hybrid Chemistry for Elastomeric Roof Coatings”

Joe Mellott and Tom Diamond, The Garland Company
“Overcoming Vapor Drive Issues in Cool Roofing”

Kurt Shickman, Global Cool Cities Alliance
“Cool Surfaces: An International Opportunity”

Dr. Michael R. Van De Mark, Missouri S&T Coatings Institute
“Solvent Reduction Technology – What are the Rules?”

Dr. Kaushik Biswas, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
“Impact of Dynamic Insulation Technologies on Steep-Slope Roof Assemblies”

Steve Heinje, Quest Construction Products
“The Roots and Future of Sustainability”

The second biennial IRCC is back by popular demand following the well-received inaugural 2012 IRCC, which was attended by over 120 industry representatives. This year, RCMA has partnered with nine U.S. and international organizations to bring you the 2014 IRCC. These conference partners include:

  • · Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
    · Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)
    · National Research Council Canada (NRC)
    · Canadian Paint and Coatings Association (CPCA)
    · Liquid Roofing and Waterproofing Association (LRWA)
    · Global Cool Cities Alliance (GCCA)
    · European Cool Roofs Council (ECRC)
    · American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE)
    · Alliance to Save Energy (ASE)

The conference will begin with an opening reception on the evening of Monday, July 14, and will continue through noon on Wednesday, July 16. Following the IRCC programming, the RCMA Summer Meeting Series, open to RCMA members and guests, will continue through the morning of Thursday, July 17.

Discounted “early bird” registration opens on Monday, April 7, 2014, and will run through May 19. Please contact RCMA Staff Associate Laura Dwulet to be added to the mailing list for conference and registration updates.